Sins of the Father
Aura Reading (•••)
Your character has the psychic ability to perceive auras; the ephemeral halos of energy that surround all living things. This allows her to perceive a subject’s emotional state, and potentially any supernatural nature. The colors of an aura show a person’s general disposition, and the ebbs, flows, tone, and other oddities reveal other influences. Note that your character may not know what she’s looking at when seeing something odd in an aura. For example, she may not know that a pale aura means she’s seeing a vampire, unless she’s confirmed other vampiric auras in the past.
To activate Aura Reading, spend a point of Willpower and roll Wits + Empathy – the subject’s Composure. Perceiving an aura takes an uninterrupted moment of staring, which could look suspicious even to the unaware. For every success, ask the subject’s player one of the following questions. Alternatively, take +1 on Social rolls against the character during the same scene, due to the understanding of their emotional state.
What’s your character’s most prominent emotion?
• Is your character telling the truth?
• What is your character’s attention most focused on
• Is your character going to attack?
• What emotion is your character trying most to hide?
• Is your character supernatural or otherwise not human?
Determine how your character perceives auras. Maybe she sees different hues as different emotions. Perhaps she hears whispers in the back of her mind, reflecting subtle truths in her subject.
Drawback: Because of your character’s sensitivity to the supernatural, she sometimes appears to know “a little too much.” No more than once per chapter, when first meeting a supernatural creature the Storyteller can roll Wits + Occult for the creature, penalized by your character’s Composure. If successful, they get a strange feeling that your character is aware of their nature. They’re not forced to behave in any particular way, but it could cause complications.
Your character can project her senses to another location. She sees, hears, smells, and otherwise experiences the other place as if she were there. This ability requires a point of Willpower to activate, successful meditation, and a Wits + Occult roll.
Suggested Modifiers: Has an object important to the place (+ 1), never been there (– 3), scrying for a person and not a place (– 3), scrying for non-specific location (– 4), spent significant time there (+ 2), touching someone with a strong connection to the place (+ 1)
Drawback: When choosing this ability, determine how your character is able to scry. It may be through a crystal ball, through a drug-induced trance, with esoteric computer models, or any other method. She cannot scry without that tool or methodology.
Your character has run afoul of fate. Somewhere, somehow, she’s been cursed. Most importantly, she’s aware of the curse. When taking this Merit, define the limitations of the curse. Usually, it’s expressed in the form of a single statement, such as, “On the eve of your twenty-seventh birthday, you will feast upon your doom.” It’s important to work out the details with the Storyteller. The curse must take effect within the scope of the planned chronicle.
While she knows how she’ll die, this is actually a liberating experience. She’s confident of the method of her death so nothing else fazes her. Gain a +2 on any Resolve + Composure roll to face fear or self-doubt. Any time she takes lethal damage in her last three health boxes, gain 1 XP.
Prerequisite: Empathy ••
Your character hears the words and moans of the dead. If she takes the time to parse their words, she can interact with them verbally.
Your character has more than just a knack for knowing when ephemeral beings are lurking nearby — she can reach out and make contact with them. By conducting a ritual, meditating, or otherwise preparing to commune with the unseen and succeeding at a Wits + Occult roll, she temporarily increases the relevant Condition one step along the progression from nothing to Anchor, Resonance or Infrastructure, to Open, and finally to Controlled (see p. 223 for more on Conditions as they relate to spirits). The effect lasts until she spends a Willpower point, but if an Influence has been used to progress the Condition further, doing so only reduces it by one step.
Drawback: Speaking with ghosts can be a blessing, but your character cannot turn the sense off, any more than she can turn off her hearing. The character hears the words of the dead any time they’re present. Once per game session, usually in a time of extreme stress, the Storyteller may deliver a disturbing message to your character from the other side. You must succeed in a Resolve + Composure roll or gain the Shaken or Spooked Condition.
Mind of a Madman (••)
Prerequisite: Empathy •••
Your character gets deep into the skin of problems. If she’s investigating a crime or other phenomenon, she can put herself in the mind of the culprit. This often helps with the case. However, it takes her to a dark place internally.
Once she’s made the choice to sink into the culprit’s mindset (which usually involves intense meditation or perusal of the culprit’s crimes), she gains 8-again on all rolls to investigate, pursue, and stop the culprit. But once per night, while she sleeps, she dreams about the culprit’s crimes and theoretical future crimes. This is intensely traumatic and it drives her further on the hunt. If she spends the day without pursuing the culprit, make a breaking point roll as if she’d committed the crime herself. She can resist the dreams and the breaking points by avoiding sleep, but she’s subject to normal deprivation effect. Until the culprit’s captured, any of her own breaking point rolls from things she’s done suffer a –1 penalty.
Omen Sensitivity (•••)
Your character sees signs and patterns in everything. From the way the leaves fall to the spray of antifreeze when her radiator pops, to the ratios of circumference on the shell she picked up on the sidewalk: everything has meaning. With some consideration, she can interpret these meanings. This would be far better if she could turn it off. Everything is important. Everything could mean the end of the world, the deaths of her friends, or other tragedies. If she misses an omen, it might be the wrong one.
Once per game session, you can make a Wits + Occult roll for your character to interpret an omen in her surroundings. For every success, ask the Storyteller a yes/no question about your character’s life, her surroundings, a task at hand, or the world at large. The Storyteller must answer these questions truthfully.
Drawback: Her ability becomes an obsession. Each time she reads a portent, she gains the Obsession or Spooked Condition.
Psychometry is the psychic ability to read impressions left on physical objects. Your character can feel the emotional resonance left on an item or can perceive important events tied to a location with this ability. The ability automatically hones in on the most emotionally intense
moment tied to the item.
Spend a Willpower point to activate Psychometry. The successes scored on a Wits + Occult roll determine the clarity of the visions. For each success, you may ask a single yes/no question of the Storyteller, or one of the following questions. For questions pertaining to specific characters, if your character hasn’t met the persons in question, the Storyteller may simply describe them.
• What’s the strongest emotion here?
• Who remembers this moment the most?
• Am I missing something in this scene?
• Where was this object during the event?
• What breaking point caused the event?
Suggested Modifiers: Character has read impressions from this item before (– 2), important event happened more than one day ago (– 1), more than one week ago (– 2), more than one month ago (– 3), more than one year ago (– 5), item was used in a violent crime (+ 2), item is only vaguely tied to the event (– 2), spirits pertaining to the event are nearby (+ 3)
Drawback: Once per chapter, the Storyteller can force a Psychometry vision any time an important place is visited or an important item is touched. This doesn’t require a roll or Willpower point to activate. The Storyteller can give any information pertaining to the event in question. The Storyteller can also impose one Condition relevant to the event.
Thief of Fate (•••)
Your character is a magnet for fortune and fate. When she’s close to someone, she unintentionally steals their good fortune. If she touches someone, this Merit takes effect unless she spends a point of Willpower to curb the effect for a scene. In the same day, any failures the subject makes are considered dramatic failures. If she’s used this Merit in a given day, she gains four dice any time she spends Willpower to increase a dice pool.
Drawback: Once a victim of this Merit suffers a dramatic failure, he hears your character’s name in the back of his mind. This may inspire scrutiny.
Unseen Sense (••)
Your character has a “sixth sense” for a type of supernatural creature, chosen when you buy the Merit. For example, you may choose Unseen Sense: Vampires, or Unseen Sense: Fairies. The sense manifests differently for everyone. A character’s hair stands on end, she becomes physically ill, or perhaps she has a cold chill. Regardless, she knows that something isn’t right when she is in the immediate proximity of the appropriate supernatural being. Once per chapter, the player can accept the Spooked Condition (p. 183) in exchange for which the character can pinpoint where the feeling is coming from. If the target is using a power that specifically cloaks its supernatural nature, however, this does not work (though the Condition remains until resolved as usual).
Note: Until the character becomes initiated to the supernatural they do no know why the people that spook them do so. They nevertheless are aware that something is not-quite-right about those individuals though.